Ace Para Archer Sheetal Devi Amongst the List of 2024 Arjuna Award Winners

11
Arjuna Award
Sheetal Devi. Source: X

As many as 26 athletes were presented the Arjuna Award, the second highest sporting honour in the country. And the highlight was a young Sheetal Devi. The first armless woman archer in the world.

The President of India, Draupadi Murmu gave away the awards in a formally conducted ceremony on January 9th at Rasthrapathi Bhavan, Delhi. The list heavily featured athletes who proved their mettle at the recently concluded Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Sheetal Devi: A Story of True Grit

Born with a condition called phocomelia, ‘which impeded the development of her arms, Sheetal Devi faced considerable challenges from a young age’. But her unshakable will power and resilience couldn’t stop her from achieving the greater heights.

Sheetal made her professional archery debut in 2019 in a camp organized by Indian army in her hometown Kishtwar, J&K. Under the guidance of Kuldeep Vedwan, a former archer, Devi adapted a special technique to use her feet and legs for shooting.

Sheetal Devi, 16, has won many laurels so far in her inspiring journey. She won Silver at World Archery Para Championships 2023 in the Czech Republic, becoming the first female armless archer to achieve this feat. This victory also earned her a position to compete in 2024 Paris Paralympic games. She also won two gold medals and a silver at the Asian Para Games 2023.

Sheetal’s inspiring journey is more than just her achievements in archery. Her life sets an example to break barriers with a strong will power and also serves as a hope to many athletes like her to aim for greater things.

Arjuna Award 2024 recipients

Aditi Gopichand Swami – Archery

Ojas Pravin Deotale – Archery

Sreeshankar Murali – Athletics

Parul Chaudhary – Athletics

Mohameed Hussamuddin – Boxing

R Vaishali – Chess

Mohammed Shami – Cricket

Anush Agarwalla – Equestrian

Divyakriti Singh – Equestrian Dressage

Diksha Dagar – Golf

Krishan Bahadur Pathak – Hockey

Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu – Hockey

Pawan Kumar – Kabaddi

Ritu Negi – Kabaddi

Nasreen – Kho-Kho

Pinki – Lawn Bowls

Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar – Shooting

Esha Singh – Shooting

Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu – Squash

Ayhika Mukherjee – Table Tennis

Sunil Kumar – Wrestling

Antim Panghal – Wrestling

Naorem Roshibina Devi – Wushu

Sheetal Devi – Para Archery

Illuri Ajay Kumar Reddy – Blind Cricket

Prachi Yada – Para Canoeing

Also Read: The development of Women’s league is underway, says Ultimate Kho Kho CEO Tenzing Niyogi